Prosecution’s Plea against Sheikh Ali Salman: “Major” Crimes and “Minor” Evidence

2018-06-19 - 3:41 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): We are all used to the clichés of cheap tabloids and scandalous magazines, which hit us with bold sensational headlines that suggest a serious or unprecedented event, and then when one reads the news provided in the article, it is found to be nothing but meaningless chatter and poor content with no relation whatsoever to the title or ridiculously fabricated information. This happens very often in the fallen media, which thrives through exaggerated news, but to see this take place in a plea entered by the Public Prosecution and written by men of law is a great calamity.

In the prosecution's plea submitted to the High Criminal Court on the case of Sheikh Ali Salman and two others, of which Bahrain Mirror received a copy, one will read terrible accusations, the kind that makes eyes widen in surprise. The charges come in the form of hot headlines:

  • Communicating with a foreign country or communicating with a foreign country to carry out hostile acts against the homeland.

  • Delivering and disclosing defense secrets to a foreign state or disposing of them.

One will also read under these titles of high treason, and before getting to the details, the words of the Public Prosecution which included the vilest claims of incrimination and treason, provided in a dramatic style:

"What the accused have committed, as you find in the papers.. has exceeded the extent of outrageous criminality.. They have reached the lowest of low when they, through their crimes, targeted the foremost values ​​and principles and the most sanctified epics.."

"The defendants continued to commit crimes of all sorts, until they crowned their criminal wrath with treachery."

"No matter how much the first defendant relentlessly defends himself before you, highlighting his views on political action... or bringing false claims to us, he will not be exempted from his weary descent into the crime, and coordination with those who spent all their time and destiny in erasing the face of this nation and destroying its identity. It will not exempt him and the rest of the defendants from treason."

"The traitors, also, whenever called by their homeland, its leaders and figures for honor, dialogue or appreciation, they strived to deny them yet when they are called by the evil forces, they were at their beck and call..."

Well, what are these crimes committed by these defendants to be described as being at the beck and call of every evil? What is this act of treason they have committed to deserve all these brutal charges and harsh accusations?
The Prosecution says:

"The investigation revealed that the first defendant[Sheikh Ali Salman] resorted to communicating with a foreign country to work on what is threatening to the safety of the country as well as the overthrow of the constitutional order, including the State of Qatar. A telephone call was therefore recorded between the first defendant Ali Salman and one of Qatar's most prominent leaders, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister at the time, and that conversation was the main evidence of the criminal plot, whose means are specified and dimensions and purposes revealed."

Thus, the said phone call broadcast on Bahrain TV was the "main evidence" on which the prosecution relied to raise charges of treason, conspiracy, and disclosure of military secrets against the defendant. The call has been on the Interior Ministry record since March 2011, but the Ministry only chose to reveal it to be as a treason, conspiracy, threat to the safety of the country and an attempt to overthrow of the constitutional order in 2017 after the Gulf crisis.

Well, let's see what's in this leaked phone call?

The phone rings. The Qatari Prime Minister answers. He greets Sheikh Ali Salman and tells him that he was hoping to see him there (which shows that a meeting was held between the Qatari Prime Minister and Bahraini officials,  and then goes on to say that something "problematic" has happened, adding: "Do not forget that now there is a lot of pressure, I mean, without going into further detail. We went to try to ease the pressure exerted by some of the other party, i.e. telling them not to bring the force (Peninsula Shield) into it."

"Any use of force, I believe, will aggravate the situation and will not resolve it," said Salman.

"We do not hope anything will take place by force, and this is our main goal. I hope you will trust us, and you know: we are always honest with you," replied Hamad bin Jassim, reassuring Salman.

"We trust you and you are honest, but there are people (the government and its mercenaries) opening fire in some areas, and this is not a way of expressing desire for dialogue, but rather a desire for exerting pressure and coercion, i.e. a dialogue while putting pressure on [us] with the presence of the military and Gulf troops," stressed Ali Salman.

Bin Jassim confirms that this will be stopped at the same time, and says that he talked about it, and about the issue of escalation. Sheikh Ali Salman asks: "How long will the Sheikh stay (it shows that he is in Bahrain)?" "I am sitting, I will wait for your phone call. I will talk to them and tell them what we spoke about, and I will wait for you to think and give me a response," he answered.

Sheikh Ali Salman then says: "I want to put you in the picture. Moments ago, we were with Feltman, trying to find solutions to this reality." So he tells him that Feltman said he would talk to him if he was present (in Bahrain).

He replied: But the question is, can I speak to him now and tell him that there is something that they can do? Then, he says to Salman: "Let me speak to him and I will get back to you."

This is the content of the aired phone call, or what the Prosecution called "the main evidence," on which it relied on to "prove" the huge crimes listed in the indictment and its defense file: "spying, treason, threatening the safety of the country, attempting to overthrow the system in power, criminal scheming and so on!" Specialized experts have confirmed that the phone call was cut, edited and arranged as the public prosecution wanted it to be, and the latter has refrained from submitting the full recordings of the phone call that the defense team demanded to obtain.

It's funny, though, that everything in the call did not fit any of the high treason clichés laid down by the Prosecution in its dramatic sensational preamble like a cheap tabloid. But it appears that the phone call comes in the context of the Qatari mediation between the Bahraini authorities and the opposition to resolve the 2011 crisis and calm the situation in Bahrain, which appears to have more than one party involved in this mediation. What is even more amusing is that this mediation was not even a secret, as Hamad bin Jassim was then on an official visit to Bahrain. This is what the call clarified when Sheikh Ali Salman asked him: "How long will you stay?" He had come from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain within the framework of the Qatari Initiative, which was approved by the King of Bahrain at the time to resolve the crisis in the country, and met with the King in the Safriya Palace. However, the most ironic thing is that this mediation was mentioned in detail by the BICI report since 2011 with the King's approval. Nonetheless, the Prosecution dared to use this phone call as its main evidence of treason and communication (spying) in its plea!

Did the Prosecution stop there? No, it most certainly didn't. It had something even more ridiculous to say about the most laughable charge in the case file, i.e. "selling and divulging the secrets of defense." It is a charge that makes you ask yourself as soon as you hear it: Did Sheikh Ali Salman and anyone with him have any of the defense secrets in the first place to sell or divulge some of them? Or did they even have a chance to obtain such information from a government body that closes its doors in the face of Shia citizens? Well, let's read what the Prosecution's plea says about Salman's disclosure of defense secrets:

"The defendants in the context of the communications have handed over to the State of Qatar confidential information of a military and security nature, i.e. information and data related to the movements of the military forces, the National Guard, the police and the Peninsula Shield forces and places of there deployment."

Here one stands speechless. Is this a joke or mockery? What "secret" is this to be revealed about the movements of the Peninsula Shield, which roams the streets of Bahrain and crosses through its areas, flexing its muscles in front of all Bahrainis and the whole world? What loud "secret" is this, which occupied the headlines of the international press and was an easy prey for news agencies cameras? What open "secret" is this, which everyone knows and has seen without exception? And is not Qatar really part of the this Peninsula Shield forces anyways?

If these "low" claims prove anything, it's the level of degeneracy reached by the Public Prosecution, which is not ashamed to speak such shameful nonsense under the umbrella of a pleading!

Arabic Version



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